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The Ferguson Rifle (The Talon and Chantry series #3)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,763 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
It began with gold that had once belonged to Montezuma. Stolen and cached in a church in Mexico, it was recovered by two army officers who fled north for the French settlements. Along the way one stabbed the other to death. The remaining officer was eventually killed by Plains Indians, but he buried the treasure just before he died.

Now Ronan Chantry, a handful of trappers
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 1985 by Bantam (first published 1973)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,647)
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Sep 12, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most of Louis L'Amour's novels this was an enjoyable tale if you like his style and approach. However, what made this one a bit more remarkable for me was the history. L'Amour is known for blending fiction with some fact and real people, places, and events in his novels. This one was no exception, in that a real historical figure, Patrick Ferguson, made a brief appearance. The inventor of an early innovation in firearms technology, Ferguson might have played a key role in the American Revol ...more
Greg Strandberg
Apr 25, 2016 Greg Strandberg rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns
Good book, with the narrative being the best part in my opinion. I like how the main character thinks back on his earlier days, thinks on the Indians around him, and even old philosophers that are long dead.

Chantry is a smart man, and I did not read the first book with him in it. I picked this one up at the library because I liked the cover. It's set in the earlier-1800's and makes for a good story. Sometimes I got lost between the characters and other times I found myself drifting. Usually thos
May 07, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
I read this many years ago (likely upon its first release) and I enjoyed the re-read. I find a few things in the story really, really far-fetched. First, the gift of the rifle to the young boy during the American Revolution. Some of the scholarly references were a bit much, I felt.

However, overall, this is meant to be taken as an action yarn. During the period of the mountain men, so a bit different than much of L'amours writing, but really, only a bit.

There is a cache of gold/lost treasure tha
May 06, 2015 Sophie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
This Louis Lamour title was not as absorbing as the last one I read. Maybe it's because the hero, after a tragedy in his life, is wandering aimlessly west. He's not exactly The Man With No Name, but he is sort of The Man With No Purpose Who Has A Really Cool Rifle. He falls in with some men along the trail, and then their group falls in with a young woman and her companion. The subsequent adventure flows from these other characters, rather than from anything the hero wants--which makes the story ...more
Dec 15, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Louis. Never looked back.
I actually read The Ferguson Rifle for the first time years ago* and loved it, but I recently won the audiobook from Goodreads via their FirstReads program. This lined up nicely with a road trip my wife and I had to take, and so the adventure began anew….

I don’t usually do audiobooks, as I have little time for them. I don’t have copious amounts of driving built into my day (if this ever changes, I likely will start consuming larger quantities), I can’t listen at work, and frankly given the choic
Aaron Toponce
I liked this Chantry entry, but I really wish that people would get the chronological order correct in the series. This book should be the 2nd, not the fifth. According to, the order is:

1. Borden Chantry
2. Fair Blows The Wind
3. Ferguson Rifle, The
4. North to the Rails
5. Over on the Dry Side

Not trusting that list, because they got the order for Borden Chantry wrong, I decided to follow

1. Borden Chantry
2. Fair Blows The Wind
3. North to the R
Angie Lisle
Feb 02, 2016 Angie Lisle rated it it was ok
The story didn't feel as put together as other L'Amour stories - there were a few rough patches where the narrative broke/didn't flow seamlessly. And the repetition, sheesh. Ronan Chantry gained the nickname Scholar as he moved west and, every time he was introduced to another character by that nickname, we readers got the story about why he's called Scholar. How many times did I need to hear that story?

The same applied to all of the information given in regard to the plot's mysteries - the sam
Mar 16, 2016 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I can see why this celebrated Western writer was so popular, and I enjoyed this tale of a man who has lost all who decides to challenge the West, but it also raised my cackles a few times. More than once I thought to myself, "Can we get on with this?" as the main character started replaying information that we already knew about, even a few times. The book certainly reflects the style of the time it was written (I might even call it old fashioned), and occasionally I was bothered by descriptions ...more
Laura Verret
Apr 28, 2013 Laura Verret rated it liked it
Shelves: goodwill-finds
Ronan Chantry is a man running away from his past, running away from his grief. He hopes that by barreling west he can escape the memories of his dead wife, his dead son, and the horrible accusations that resulted from their deaths. All he wants is to be free from their memory, even if it means he must die.

Chantry expected to come up against Indians and Spaniards on his journey. But he never expected to find a young Irish woman stranded in the middle of nowhere with only a little boy to give her
East Bay J
Jul 13, 2010 East Bay J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
For some reason, I found myself wanting to give ol’ Louis L’Amour another read. Any book would do, but I kept finding, like, the third and seventh book in the Sackett series or something. Never a standalone novel. On a recent excursion to Oregon, I happened to find The Ferguson Rifle in a thrift store for peanuts and knocked it out in a few hours of reading.

Which is the first thing I like about L’Amour’s books. They read fast. Part of this is L’Amour’s own skill as a writer, his ability to reall
Gene Steinbacher
Jan 25, 2016 Gene Steinbacher rated it liked it
Louis L'amour will often times go into what I call "thought rambling", especially when he writes in the first person. "Thought rambling" is when the main characters goes on and on about what he is thinking, and he repeats the same thoughts numerous times throughout the book. These are my least favorite books and this is one of those books.
I would have goven it two stars except it was a good adventure story. If you don't mind when he rambles you will probably like this book better than I did.
Dec 22, 2014 Meegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was pretty amazing! This novel was only the second second Louis L'Amour novel I have read, and despite the constant philosophical thoughts, I still love his writing. There is so much history embedded in these novels that you always learn something. This isn't a mystery book. Yes, there is a hidden treasure and a terrible villain, but there is so much more to the story. The people, the setting, feelings. Just be prepared.
Stripped of all he values in life, Ronan Chantry takes up his prized Ferguson rifle and heads west — into an unknown land and an uncertain future. For an educated man, Chantry is surprisingly tough. For a civilized man, he is unexpectedly dangerous. But even he can't know the true extent of his courage until he draws the fire of a man who will do anything — kill anyone — for the glitter of gold.
Jan 10, 2012 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louis L’amour has always been one of my favorite authors. He is the consummate storyteller. This one is the story of a man haunted by his recent losses – his wife and son are killed in a fire in Boston. Ronan Chantry heads west after his loss, heading into the wilderness “west of the Mississippi” in the early 1800’s. He carries with him a breech-loading rifle given to him as a child by a British Officer who had designed and invented it. He meets up with some men heading west as trappers, running ...more
Lee McClain
Jul 11, 2015 Lee McClain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this old-fashioned Western for its hero. He's nicknamed Scholar, and has had a career as a writer and professor, but of course, he's strong and macho and a good shot with his Ferguson Rifle. Great descriptions of the west. Almost every chapter ends on a cliffhanger. Lots to learn from the master of Western fiction.
Apr 20, 2015 Frode rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yup, another Louie, but it was enjoyable the second time through. I remembered a few parts, but mostly it was fresh. Typical, lots of action, some history, a bit of a love story, and some philosophizing about human behavior. It was a good read.
Oct 15, 2013 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. I don't really like the typical "western" theme (cowboys) so I've avoided Louis L'Amour's books. This is my second one of his books, and haven't seen a cowboy yet. This one isn't really a "western" as it takes place at the time of the Louis and Clark expedition.

A delightful read, I read it again after finishing it the first time. The writing is clear, the characters are well-defined, and the plot is straightforward. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. Ther
Feb 14, 2016 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Begins in the Revolution, a British officer, wounded, makes a gift of a fine rifle to a young lad. The lad lives up to the legacy.
Keith Bell
Feb 23, 2014 Keith Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this one at a used book store and realized I didn't own it. Probably one of the only ones I don't.
Nov 30, 2015 Nicolas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
I would rate that a good solid "Eh..." It started interesting, but as the story progessed (or didn't) it got dull and long. The opening chapter sets Ronan Chantry up to be the tragic figure, but that doesn't really play into the story. Basically Chantry sets off for the west, joins in with some fellas, meets a girl in need and together they help her search for a lost treasure. This would have worked for a short story, but didn't really have the meat for a full novel. Louis L'Amour is hit-&-m ...more
This was surprisingly not the typical L'Amour wild west novel. It takes place nearly a century before all the gunslingers during the time of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expeditions. The first half of the book was full of elegant words about the beauty of the country and the fur trappers and pioneers that were setting forth to make a home in the west. The story, however, moved on to hidden Spanish treasures, a helpless senorita and a series of gunfights which resulted in the or ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite by Louis L'Amour, but good enough for an airplane.
Feb 11, 2015 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A work worthy of a master.
Hilary Williamson
Irishmen ; )
Jan 07, 2015 A rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Ferguson Rifle" is a fairly typical Western, well deserving of the three stars I've allotted to it.
It's a relatively short work, and takes care not to unduly complicate a simple, yet efficient plot. Louis L'amour's regular readers will not be surprised to find that the action is fast paced, accurate and well articulated, after all, the name does speak for itself. Quite entertaining, and should be a treat for anyone who enjoys the genre. It is, however, nothing out of the ordinary. Nor does
Oct 08, 2010 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: louis-lamour
This is a rarity for me. I have stopped reading this book at page 128. I don't know why I didn't stop at 50 since it was boring then. I think I was hoping for better. But, alas, better never came. There is just too much in this book. The villain is too bad. The hero is too pretty. The treasure is too old (200 years. Too many groups invovled: Anglos,, Mexicanos, Indians, Irish,
The book is just too much.
Calvin Daniels
Jan 01, 2015 Calvin Daniels rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
First L'Amournovel in years. The main character was not particularly well-defined for me. An issue in a first-person narrative, where it's hard to give someone a voice that goves themselves depth.

The gal and the gold and the bad guys after both all seemed a bit thin too.

Quick read though, which is the allure of a western. A 2.5 but since we don't have the option, I'll give it a .
An Odd1
Jan 31, 2011 An Odd1 rated it liked it
Shelves: action
*** "The Ferguson Rifle", by Louis L'Amour, was given to young Irish lad by the maker. Having lost his wife and son to fire in Boston, he heads west to escape. Now nicknamed Scholar, he knows philosophy, history, botany, geography, knives, guns, and fists. We meet Indians, treasure seekers, fur traders, a maiden in distress, her evil uncle, grassy plain, deep forest, forgotten caves.
Fredrick Danysh
May 24, 2013 Fredrick Danysh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A treasure of gold once belonging to Montezuma is stolen by two army officers from a church. One murders the other and flees north with the treasure. He is killed by the Apache, but not before he buries the treasure. Several men and a girl come across a map and hunt for the gold. The get caught up in conflict and distrust when greed raises its ugly head.
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Louis L'Amour was an American author. L'Amour's books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers".
More about Louis L'Amour...

Other Books in the Series

The Talon and Chantry series (8 books)
  • Borden Chantry
  • Fair Blows the Wind
  • The Man from the Broken Hills
  • Milo Talon
  • North to the Rails
  • Over on the Dry Side
  • Rivers West

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“Somebody comin'," he said softly. "Five or six, maybe." His words were spoken over an empty fire, for each of us vanished ghostlike into the surrounding darkness. I, fortunately, had the presence of mind to retain my coffee. With the Ferguson rifle in my right hand, I drank coffee from the cup in my left.” 3 likes
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